I don’t know what my body is trying to tell me, but I seem to have developed a high taste for all things Brassicaceae, and recently I’ve been hankering for cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, and cabbages of all stripes.
I have made so many batches of Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste my oven has stopped counting; I have stir-fried broccoli together with sweet potatoes; I have sliced raw kohlrabi to top with seaweed tartare (the one from The French Market Cookbook) and cubed it for a lentil salad; I have roasted Savoy cabbage and planted kale on my mini-balcony, dreaming of the 50 things I can do with it; I have roasted green cabbage with summer’s last bulbs of fennel and fall’s first heads of potimarron; and I have been making lots and lots and lots of cabbage slaws.
Such sliced cabbage salads are the most effortless way to transform a head of green cabbage into something fresh and satisfying to go with your hard-boiled eggs or your cold roast chicken.
Sliced cabbage salads are the most effortless way to transform a head of green cabbage into something fresh and satisfying to go with your cold roast chicken.
You just need to think of it a little bit in advance, as the perfect coleslaw requires the cabbage to sit for an hour with some salt to relax. This step is key in making the salad crunchy but not agressively so, and helps to season the cabbage thoroughly.
Coleslaws are open to any number of variations, but my recent favorite is this one, flavored with fresh ginger and dill. The combination was serendipitous at first — an open-the-fridge-and-see-what-we-got sort of inspiration — but I have gone out of my way to reproduce it since then, so zesty and aromatic it was.
I sometimes make vegan slaws with my simple tahini sauce, but the dressing for this particular version involves mayonnaise: not the bucketloads called for in some recipes, but enough to satisfy. I confess I don’t make my own mayonnaise for this, but rather use a very tasty store-bought mayo I recently discovered at the organic store; you can use plain yogurt if you like that better.
And although I have sometimes used my mandolin to produce wispy strands of cabbage, I find I prefer the texture of a coarser cut, sliced by hand with a sharp knife.
Join the conversation!
Are you obsessed with cruciferous vegetables too? What have you been making? And what do you put in your ideal cabbage slaw?
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- 450 grams (1 pound) green cabbage, sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (substitute plain yogurt or vegan sesame mayonnaise if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon strong mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- a 2-cm (3/4-inch) piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- a small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- Start at least 1 hour before. Place the cabbage in a colander and stir in the salt. Let rest for 30 minutes (if the cabbage is sliced very thinly) to 1 hour (if it is sliced more coarsely) to soften.
- Rinse thoroughly in fresh water to remove the excess salt (taste one piece to check) and drain well. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and pat gently to dry the cabbage further.
- In a medium salad bowl, combine the cabbage, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, ginger, and dill. Taste and adjust the balance of the dressing with more mustard or honey as needed.